A Social Network Model of Alcohol Behaviors

  • Edward J. Wegman
  • Yasmin H. Said
Conference paper


Alcohol use is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in all areas of the world (Ezzati et al., 2002). In the developed world alcohol consumption is one of the primary risk factors for the burden of disease; it ranks as the second leading risk factor (after tobacco) for all disease and premature mortality in the United States (Said and Wegman, 2007). Alcohol is such a potent risk factor because it is widely used, inexpensive, and causes both acute and chronic consequences. A major difficulty in developing and assessing alcohol-related public health interventions is that drinking behaviors and their consequences form, in effect, a complex ecological system of individual behaviors embedded in socio-cultural settings and interactions that are distributed over space and time. Interventions focused on any specific aspect of this system (e.g., drinking and driving) may result in unintended consequences (e.g., a potential increase in domestic violence as the result of high volume drinkers spending more time at home due to the anti-drinking-driving programs). Another example of unintended consequences is alcohol-related promiscuous behavior resulting in infections with sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).


Domestic Violence Postal Code Alcohol Misuser Sexually Transmitted Disease Postal Code Area 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag US 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.George Mason UniversityFairfax

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